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South Carolina Episcopalians immediately severed their relationship with the national denomination last month after Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori inhibited South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence (above) from ministry on charges of “abandonment of communion”. (Photo: Trinity School for Ministry)

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is seceding from the national denomination — likely setting the stage for legal action.

First, the diocese voted to disassociate in October. Now, Jeff Walton of The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) reports that in a special convention this past weekend, the diocese voted to amend its constitution and canons to remove references to the national church.

“This is the fifth diocese in as many years to leave the Episcopal Church,” Walton reports. “They have done so largely for reasons of theological disagreement that came to a breaking point because the Episcopal Church’s national leaders really had it in for Bishop Mark Lawrence, who is the diocesan bishop of South Carolina.”

Read more here.